Building a Networked Environment in Wikis: The Evolving Phases of Collaborative Learning in a Wikibook Project

  • Lin H
  • Kelsey K
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Abstract

Wikis, when used as an open editing tool, can have profound and subtle effects on students’ collaborative learning process. Hailed as a collaborative learning and writing tool, many questions remain regarding the pedagogical impacts of using wikis in the classroom. Do students feel comfortable editing each others’ wiki articles? Do students learn collaboratively and construct knowledge for the community? What challenges did they experience in a networked environment? This study addressed these questions using quali- tative methods, including multiple semi-structured interviews and student reflective journals, for analysis. The findings challenge idealistic hypotheses that wiki work, without careful design and implementation, is naturally beneficial. It was also found that collaborative writing and learning were the exception rather than the norm among participants in the early stages of wiki work. It is recommended that instructors provide highly supportive learning experiences to teach students how to use wikis and how to work collabora- tivelywhen implementingwikis tomaximize the benefits of thisemerging tool. INTRODUCTION

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Authors

  • Hong Lin

  • Kathleen D. Kelsey

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